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Seven striking nurses suspended

Imphal, June 13: The director of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences has hardened his stand on the indefinite ceasework launched by the institute’s nurses by suspending seven of them since yesterday.

RIMS director S. Sekharjit Singh, in an order dated 12.6.2014, suspended five nurses under the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules — Kh. Mina, H. Sobita, K. Mangolnganbi, Ak. Tombi and H. Tampha. Today, he suspended two more, Manglembi Devi and Ibemnungshi Devi, to send a clear message that he was not ready to compromise on services conduct.

The strike affected the normal functioning of the hospital as adequate nurses were not available.

Nurses, under the banner of RIMS Nurses’ Association, have been on ceasework since 10am yesterday, demanding stay of the promotion of a Scheduled Caste nurse, Ksh. Binodkumari, to assistant nursing superintendent, alleging that it was out of turn.

Binodkumari was promoted along with five other nurses to the same post of assistant nursing superintendent in February this year. The nurses’ body has no objection to the promotion of the other five.

Sekharjit termed the strike “illegal” and clarified that RIMS had followed the Centre’s reservation norms and promoted the candidate accordingly.

After the negotiation between the protesters and the director yesterday morning failed to cut ice, Sekharjit issued a memorandum, terming the strike illegal.

“The director took the disciplinary action after the strikers refused to listen to the appeals,” Iboyaima Laithangbam, media adviser of the director, said. “The healthcare services are running smoothly. We have more than 100 nurses working at any time. They can manage the emergencies. Emergency operations are continuing as usual.”

Hospital authorities claimed that Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste, contract and on probation nurses were manning the hospital. Laithangbam said operations that could be delayed had been put on hold.

Sekharjit had yesterday said if required he would engage senior students of the institute’s nursing college as well as nurses from other institutes. The director has been routinely holding meetings and reviewing the situation with all the heads of the departments.

RIMS medical superintendent M. Amuba appealed to the protesters to resume work in the interest of the patients.